Keyboard Hacks Guaranteed to Boost Your Productivity

This blog post is written by Evelyn, a Guide to Graduate writer, self-employed consultant, and mother of a tech-savvy teenager.

Ever feel technologically challenged? I truly never knew the meaning of the term until just a few weeks ago. I was helping my 13-year-old daughter edit her English essay (due within minutes, of course!), and noticed a sentence that read a bit awkward. In an effort to help her rephrase it, I suggested moving a few words around. Showing her what I was referring to, I used my mouse to highlight the words, and brought my cursor to the “edit” button on the header of my page to select “copy.” 

It was at this moment when my daughter gave a snarky laugh and rolled her eyes (teenagers, right?) and asked why I was doing it that way. She then did a few quick clicks of her keyboard and had the words selected, copied, and pasted within seconds. 

I was a bit in awe of her trick, and, after she reluctantly taught me how to do it (don’t worry–I’ll share it in a few!), I got to thinking… that can’t be the only trick my keyboard can do. So, like any good journalist, I started to research, and am so excited to share my findings with the readers here at Guide to Graduate! 

Keep reading for my favorite keyboard hacks guaranteed to save you time, and increase your productivity during (and beyond!) the workday. Kicking it off with, none other than, copy and paste.


To quickly copy text, use your cursor and highlight the part you’d like to copy. Then, hold the Ctrl button + C at the same time to copy it. For Mac keyboards, use Command+C.

… and Paste.

To paste the text you’ve just copied, hold down the Ctrl button + V at the same time. If you’re on a Mac, that’s Command+V.


We all make mistakes, but, with this keyboard shortcut, they can be barely noticeable. 

To undo a previous action, such as pasting the wrong image or word, or accidentally deleting a row from a shared company spreadsheet, hold down the Ctrl button + Z. If you’re on a Mac, that’s Command+Z. 

Reopen a Tab in Your Browser

Ever accidentally close out of a web browser and lose your page? Consider that problem solved with this handy keyboard shortcut. 

To reopen your last closed out of tab on your browser, Hold your Ctrl button+N at the same time to copy. For Mac keyboards, use Command+Shift+t.

Find What You’re Looking For–Fast

If you’re like me, the amount of time spent scouring through copy and documents to find something I’m looking for could add up to hours each week. Or maybe you spend your working hours immersed in spreadsheets and data, and spend a lot of time looking for specific information (like names within a database). Regardless of how you can use this keyboard hack, it’s one of my newfound favorites when it comes to time-savings.

By simultaneously holding down the Ctrl+F keys (Mac users can use Command+F) a little search window will appear. Type in the exact text or number that you’re looking for, and it will not only highlight the document with where it appears, but also provide a count to show you how many times that comes up in your specific open browser, email, or document that you’re in when pressing the command keys. 

Have a nifty keyboard trick that you use to save time throughout your day? Share it with me in the comments below!

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